So, first of all, it was 70 degrees in Philly today. To which I have two things to say: 1) YAY!!!! and 2) wow, I guess we'll have to start paying a little more attention to the groundhog from now on, huh.
We went to Isaiah Zagar's Magic Gardens this afternoon (and incidentally, if you are anywhere near Philly and you haven't been there yet? Dude, go.). It's an overwhelming place - crazy and wonderful and so, so, so perfect for experiencing through the eyes of little kids.
We actually caught a glimpse of Mr. Zagar himself today. He was working on a section of the gardens, and gave a chuckle at seeing Jakey pointing at each and every cemented bottle, saying "Boo botta waya. Yewow botta waya. G'een botta waya. Wed botta waya."
There was something really enjoyable about being in the space while knowing that the artist was there too. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the most impressive part of this project isn't the fact that it took 14 years to construct, or the array of symbols and poems and phrases and random bric-a-brac that somehow coheres, but that this man made this huge artwork and then happily let random kids prowl around and touch the thing. I mean, I felt a pang of annoyance when I saw that the patches I put on Lara's jeans were already torn up themselves, and that was the work of a hour or so - and certainly not anything that would be called art!
But I guess the evolution of the mosaic is part of the point of the mosaic, since parts of it must get knocked off or broken all the time. Case in point: one of my very own darling children smashed one of the plates embedded in the ground. And felt terrible, terrible, terrible about it, even as a clearly well-practiced staff member came out and calmly swept the debris into a little dustpan. Sorry, Mr. Zagar!
On an unrelated note, I love that Lara's outfit was perfectly coordinated to the surroundings.